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closer to a tax and fiscal cliff fix? cnbc's own chief washington correspondent john harwood joins us now with all the details. good evening, john. >> reporter: good evening, laurie, and i think we are getting somewhat closer, and the white house would count it as good news that you found common cause with their report on the impact of fiscal spending. let's talk for a moment about what's happened on the fiscal cliff by the numbers since that early constructive meeting with the congressional leaders and the president. the numbers are all one. there's one month left for these leaders to figure it out. two, 1.4 it is is the amount to be shaved off by gdp and one is the amount of trillions of dollars that democratic aides, senior democratic aides tell me is necessary to get a deal wit end of the year with the remaining 3 trillion of savings coming in the early part of next year, ants finally one is the number of phone calls made over the weekend between president obama and house speaker john boehner so there hasn't been a lot of concrete progress, but there is total progress in terms of the
. and that is there's been indecision and uncertainty in washington on our middle east policy, whether it's being tougher on benjamin netanyahu for defending israel than they've been on iran for not having nuclear weapons. whether it is the conflicting approaches to the middle east peace process, et cetera. so there's a vacuum that has to be filled. the u.s. has to step up and provide leadership. president morsi in cairo called mr. jabari, the terrorist who was killed, a martyr. the muslim brotherhood does have a close relationship with hamas. iran has given hundreds of millions of dollars to hamas in recent months. so the region is in turmoil. the u.s. should step up firm for our ally, make clear where we are, try to get turkey and egypt -- both of whom have been sympathetic to hamas -- to stand down. >> that's not happening. john, u.s. foreign policy in the middle east, maybe elsewhere, but in the middle east right now in the wake of libya and benghazi, we are at low ebb, john, in the eyes i dare say of middle eastern countries and in the eyes of european countries and maybe in the eyes of asia
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